Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts.
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Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts. Even worse, they all want something from him, particularly Frank Herlihy who pesters him into breaking up the impending marriage of his widow Gwen. That puts Pincus squarely in the middle of a triangle with spirited result. Written by
Studio Approved Synopsis
The New York Times crossword puzzle seen within the first 10 minutes when Dr. Pincus (Ricky Gervais) first comes home is the puzzle from Monday, October 1, 2007 (Created by Allan E. Parrish). See more »
When Frank harasses Dr. Pincus at the bar, the toothpick and olive in the dentist's martini suddenly reverses (toward/against) the bar edge, and suddenly grows about two inches. See more »
The main character, Bertram Pincus (Ricky Gervais) is a Manhatten Dentist and a misanthrope. When the Dentist he shares an office with invites Bert to some cake and champagne to celebrate the birth of his child, Bert looks at him like he's a panhandler asking for change and tells him to "start without me".
When Bert gets a routine colonoscopy, he reacts adversely & dies for 7 minutes, but is revived. However, the result is he is able to see dead people. These aren't just any ordinary ghosts, but ghosts who continue to haunt their previous Manhatten neighborhoods, where they died, until something happens in the real world that will allow them to move on.
One such ghost is Frank (Greg Kinnear), a philandering Manhatten playboy type, who is pestering Bert to intervene on his behalf to get his widow, Gwen (Tea Leoni) to break up with her fiancé, because Frank "thinks he's just after her for her money".
Bert agrees, but then falls for Gwen himself, and gradually is transformed from a curmudgeon into a much better person (shades of Ebeneezer Scrooge!).
This may sound like a tired plot that's been overdone many times before, but somehow it works very nicely here.
I thought Ricky Gervais, Tea Leoni, & Greg Kinnear were all excellent. Gervais was particularly good as the lead. His understated British comedic talents were well suited to the role. The supporting cast was great also. Kristen Wiig (from SNL) turned in a hilarious role as the surgeon who botched the colonoscopy.
What I liked most about this was that it worked on a number of levels, as a very good comedy, a ghost story, a romance, and a story of redemption.
Go check it out at the theater. You'll be glad you did.
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